WHAT IS COMPRESSION?
Compression is a confusing effect, therefore is often overlooked! But we're here to explain how it works, and why you might want to add one to your board!
What does a Compression Pedal do?
Overall, a compression pedal helps to even out the dynamics of your guitar's volume, making it more consistent and balanced. It can make your playing sound more polished, improve sustain, and enhance the overall clarity of your guitar's tone.
Want to know how to use a compressor? Here are some ideas...
Not sure what the controls on your compressor pedal mean?
Below, we breakdown what the most common knobs/controls on a compressor are and how they work.
The threshold control determines the level at which the compressor starts to kick in and reduce the volume. When the guitar's signal exceeds the set threshold level, the compressor activates and applies compression to the sound.
The ratio control determines the amount of compression applied to the signal above the threshold. It sets the ratio of the reduced output level to the input level. For example, a 4:1 ratio means that for every 4 dB above the threshold, the compressor reduces the output to 1 dB. Higher ratio settings result in more compression.
The attack control determines how quickly the compressor responds to the signal that exceeds the threshold. A fast attack time means the compression engages quickly, reducing the volume of the initial transient or attack of the sound. A slower attack allows more of the initial attack to pass through before compression is applied.
The release control determines how quickly the compressor stops compressing the signal after it falls back below the threshold. A shorter release time results in quicker recovery to the uncompressed level, while a longer release time maintains compression for a longer duration.
The level or output control sets the overall volume level of the compressed signal. It allows you to compensate for any volume reduction caused by the compression process and match it to the desired output level.
Keep in mind that the specific names and functions of these controls may vary slightly between different compressor pedals, but the general concepts remain the same. Experimenting with these controls will help you find the compression settings that suit your playing style and enhance your guitar's sound.
Six Quality Compressors To Send You Squishy!
In this video Daniel and Mick are looking at six high quality pedal compressors and discussing how you might use them
The basic tones and features of each pedal are compared and discussed, with some useful tips along the way about how they might integrate with your own rig and playing styles.